Living With Less Is More

A freezer filled with vacuumed sealed foods.I have always been a bit of a cheapskate and as I get older I have grown to realize that I am not a "cheapskate", I am Frugal! And might I say I am proud of it! It started in my 20s.


Being a single mom, I learned that it is easier and cheaper to purchase baby food and diapers once a month instead of going to the store multiple times a month and impulse buying things I really did not need. Then I learned to make my son's baby food from scratch using a food processor that I had purchased at a yard sale for $2! My son never did well with cloth diapers so I did still purchase those in a once a month trip.

As I grew older, I stopped using pre-packaged food and started making my food from scratch which is not only healthier but much cheaper. I would freeze leftovers with an old Seal A Meal (now known as a "food saver). When I had days which were hectic and busy, I could bring out one of my frozen meals and heat them up for a homemade meal which did not cause me any stress or work! After a while, I learned to always make much more than the three of us could eat and stashed them in my freezer for a later day! So essentially I was doing "once a month" cooking far before it was ever a "thing"!

I purchased a book called "Make a Mix" cooking and found all sorts of things I could make up and enjoy homemade but the convenience of a packaged mix! That opened a whole world for me! I stocked my pantry full of DIY gravy, pudding mixes, cake mixes, drink mixes etc. I still do these things to this day. My son is now 40 years old and you will still find DIY mixes and freezer meals in my home.

I have saved a lot of money by living a frugal life and it has been so rewarding to see what you can create which is wholesome and so much better than the store bought version! Living frugal is a way of life and now my son even does these things in his home to save money and eat healthy! We as parents have so much knowledge to share and sometimes it is as simple as getting back to your roots when your Grandma made two pies, one to eat and the other for the freezer!

Source: Make a Mix Cookery and More Make a Mix Cookery circa 1970 and 1980 by HPBooks


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May 20, 20194 found this helpful

your story is what I believe in and made it a hobby so my older children take notice. People don't know of the real value since by your habits you save on electric, gas all our natural sources of waste. Less garbage less lost of spoiled food also means less waste from overspending which means less big trucks fuel spent to transport our waste and so on till we make a good impact on handling our resources.

May 20, 20194 found this helpful

As a single mom, I lived this myself. I am frm a family of eight kids and my mom taught ALL of us (2 girls and 6 boys) to cook. Shortly before she died, she said to me that she "felt bad she hadn't given her kids anything much in life." I told her that she gave us the greatest of things - a survival skill of knowing how to cook. She could cook anything. We ate a lot of fried bread, and it was delicious with the cup of coffee she allowed us with it. She made veggie sandwiches, teaching us to make tomato sandwiches when she had no meat for us.


And we ate (Still do) a LOT of Spam - - the REAL original recipe one must nowadays purchase at Walmart (as the Great Value Luncheon meat to get the original Spam, which was sold to them by Hormel - - this info was provided to me by the Hormel rep when I kept badgering them to bring back their Original Spam - - what company dumps their signature product? Oh well, their loss, Walmart's gain and mine!
Best of luck to you. Thank you for a great read. 'Sure takes me back. ;->

May 20, 20193 found this helpful

I loved what you shared. Brought back many memories. I have wanted to do this myself and you just inspired me to start. Thank you so much for sharing. Susie, Bay Minette, AL

May 10, 20202 found this helpful

Hey Sandy-- and everyone here-- I found a link to the book Sandy mentioned called "Make a Mix" by Karine Eliason. I can't copy and paste the link here.


Guess I'm not allowed to do that here. Watch for the link to the book at Amazon to the tip I am just about to post. Thanks for the tip, Sandy!

February 20, 20230 found this helpful

Wonderful, thank you for sharing with us ! I wonder if that book is still available for sale ? I would love to do that. You should teach night class to single moms, you have so much knowledge to offer.

February 20, 20230 found this helpful

I also have led afrugal life. My Mother instilled in myself and my 2 sisters to value what we did have and make the most of it. I worked(as an RN,C) at least 2-3 jobs my entire adult life as I was also a single Mom to 2 children.I received no help from the Father of my children so it was all or nothing at all.


The kids never knew we were not wealthy and they thrived on the frugal life. I am retired now but old habits die hard as they say. I still love a bargain and cook our own food from scratch. There is no shame in using your recources wisely.

February 20, 20231 found this helpful

Fellow frugal person here! My grandmother raised me, and since she lived through the Great Depression, she passed along lots of frugal living tips just by example. I am in my 60s and like you, make almost everything from scratch. So much healthier and cheaper and if you plan, you will have very little waste. My bread has nothing unpronounceable! And tastes better! I live alone but have a freezer full of ready meals.


It's the way to live if you want to save money and your health. Sadly, so many younger people can't cook and rely on ready made meals delivered. Wow, it's expensive! What some people pay for one meal, they could probably eat for days by cooking at home. Thank you for your post, especially in these times of high grocery costs!


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